On Pak National Day, Islamabad seeks 'peaceful' ties with India

Howard TerryMar 25, 2018

The Pakistan High Commission officials alleged that this was done by Indian security and intelligence agencies.

Last week, Pakistan had called back its high commissioner Sohail Mahmood to Islamabad for consultations following alleged instances of harassment of its diplomats in New Delhi.

In its 16th note verbale to the Pakistan foreign ministry, the Indian High Commission specifically mentioned three incidents of harassment of senior officials, they said.

The Indian High Commission website too remains blocked which has affected normal functioning and causes great inconvenience. He added that Pakistan desired peaceful and good neighbourly relations with India on the basis of sovereign equality and respect. The Naval Attache of the Mission was also aggressively followed by a person on a motorbike while going to Serena Hotel for a meeting.

Amid the row over the harassment of each other's officials in respective missions, he said peace was in the mutual interest of both countries and it could only be achieved through diplomacy and dialogue.

Mahmood, who came back to India on Thursday, nearly a week after he was called back home for consultations amid an war of words over the harassment of Indian diplomats in Pakistan and Pakistani diplomats in India, said such issues affect the relation between the two countries. As former Indian high commissioner to Pakistan TCA Raghavan said, the ongoing hostility is symptomatic of the overall situation between the 2 countries which is marked by LoC hostility and absence of any high-level engagement.

Islamabad had also called its High Commissioner to India back home for consultations on the issue, but he has now returned. "We want to sort out this issue as soon as possible because it affects relations between the countries", Mahmood told reporters on the sidelines of an event organised to mark Pakistan's National Day in New Delhi.

Dr. Faisal Mohammad, Spokesperson of the Pakistan Foreign Ministry, reportedly said that "Mehmood heads back on Thursday, incidentally just a day ahead of the 70th Pakistan National Day celebrations to be hosted by the envoy at the mission on Friday".

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